Joan Oates Institute for Partners in the Arts

Information about Joan Oates Institute 2023 summer course coming soon.

2022 Dates

The full course is a hybrid model that spans 3 weeks.

In-person days begin with check-in and breakfast from 8:30am. Workshops start at 9:00am and end at 4:00pm. Breakfast, lunch, and snacks are included.

  • Week 1: June 28-30, in person (8:30am–4pm)
  • Week 2: July 5-8, self-paced online 
  • Week 3: July 11-13, in person (8:30am–4pm)

The final day of the course, July 13, will be on Sesame Street at our community partner Virginia Public Media (VPM).

The Joan Oates Institute (JOI) trains PK-12 educators and community experts/artists to engage and empower all students through differentiation, creative and experiential methods, and collaboration to develop interdisciplinary lessons and unit plans. Educators of all levels and content areas are welcome, as well as teaching artists and community experts from all fields interested in improving their instructional skills.

Transformative Professional Development

This institute will transform how you teach. Educators will learn from and with regional and national-level artists and experts this summer, with collaborative planning best practices and time built in to each day.

We provide you with the knowledge and skills to integrate community and culture into your instructional practice through the arts and technology. The driving question of our training is, “How do we learn?” This informs the thinking tools we provide so that you can connect curricular content to real-world experiences.

The course may be taken for up to 45 hours of professional development, or as a graduate credit course eligible for tuition reimbursement by many school divisions.

Tools for the Future

Summer professional development focuses on the Foundations of Arts Integration course. You will discover a teaching and learning model designed to engage your students in deep and culturally responsive learning, both inside and outside of the school setting. View some the modules below for a description of each workshop and instructor.

In this course, you will learn how to:

  • engage and empower students by connecting their backgrounds, interests, and passions to community expertise and resources
  • integrate diverse cultures to help students contextualize curriculum in the real world
  • explore big ideas through lenses of multiple disciplines in an interactive, hands-on setting
  • provide a range of creative mediums to assess comprehension in authentic and innovative ways

This course is designed for:

  • PK-12 educators or teams in all content areas
  • Administrators and coaches
  • Performing, visual, and literary teaching artists
  • Community experts interested in working with PK-12

Registration is open through June 20, 2022.

Summer Course Details

Expand All
  • Objectives
    • Understand the philosophy, techniques, and impacts of a multimodal, interdisciplinary approach to teaching
    • Practice inquiry-based educational methods that incorporate arts, technology, culture, and community, and examine how they influence academic and social-emotional outcomes
    • Learn how to view and apply the arts to curricular instruction and assessment with students
  • Outcomes

    Participants will create an educational plan to integrate the arts into their local school curriculum, learn about arts integration resources, and join a network of professional colleagues interested in integrating creativity and sparking curiosity in classrooms. The innovative lessons and unit plans developed in this course can become the basis of a grant proposal, PBL, or IB project.

  • Modules

    Week 1: In Person

    • Defining Arts Integration: Partners in the Arts will share how to build a learning community based on equity, trust, and candor. Educators will access the framework for integrated instruction and assessment tools to begin a unit plan. 
    • Learning with ArcGIS StoryMaps: Educators will use this data visualization tool for direct instruction, virtual field trips, independent learning, and e-portfolios.
    • Interviewing our Communities: Former National Geographic editor and reporter Don Belt shares his  “Slow Journalism" curriculum, and will guide participants through interviewing processes that improve active listening skills and build deep connections.
    • Experiencing Sound in Nature: Open Space Education combines art with nature-based learning. Educators will learn to cultivate adaptability, resilience, and creativity in students while connecting them to the outdoors.
    • Exploring the Science of Sound: PBS Learning Media and UR Physics faculty reveal how waves work and how we can observe, capture and create the sounds around us.

    Week 2: Self-Paced Online

    • Observing with Sketchbooks: Illustrator Aijung Kim demonstrates how the process of sketching sharpens observation skills. Drawing and writing in zines deepens the connections students make between their learning and their personal journey story.
    • Using Culturally Situated Design Tools: Culture and STEM collide by studying “heritage algorithms” in everything from Native beadwork to urban graffiti. Participants will make math and computer science connections that can combat racial and gender misconceptions.
    • Teaching New American History: Look at an innovative way to teach American history with free tools and resources available to all educators. Educators will uncover new ways to teach the past in light of the present.
    • Mapping AudibleRVA: Ethnomusicologist Dr. Andy McGraw shares how sound data can be used to tell the story of the policies and people in our communities.

    Week 3: In Person

    • Harnessing Spoken Word: Richmond’s first poet laureate, Roscoe Burnems, will lead experimentation with the different ways slam poetry can engage, empower, and amplify student voice.
    • Integrating Student Culture through Rap: MC, radio host, and educator BlackLiq will guide an exploration of how to create student- and community-relevant rhymes. Participants will have the opportunity to release some tension, and incorporate multiple content areas.
    • Making Beats on Earsketch: CodeVA’s Thomas Brownell (DJTommy2600) showcases how students can learn coding through an open source sound and music creation app. Educators will heighten observation and active listening skills, and practice telling authentic community stories using sound artifacts and lyrics from all module sections.